COLUMN: You cannot pick and choose

Nova Uriostegui

COLUMNIST

With the recent anti-abortion laws being introduced in states such as Ohio and Alabama that would only allow abortions if the mother’s life was a risk, or if the fetus would not be able to live, it is important to talk about what it really means when someone says they are pro-life. Often times, it feels as if pro-lifers only care about a fetus when it is being threatened by an abortion, and not so much when children are relying on public assistance to simply eat a meal everyday.

We often forget that the decision of getting an abortion leads to many other things along the line. Making it hard to get an abortion legally will lead people to begin harming themselves by getting illegal abortions, and more children will be born into an oppressive system where they might not have access to healthy food, shelter, or education. Denying an abortion to someone who became pregnant due to rape could even lead to child abuse down the line.

If pro-lifers want to be so loud about their decisions, they need to advocate for mental healthcare for parents and children. They need to advocate for education for all children, including proper transportation. They need to advocate for access to food, and healthy food as well, and they need to advocate for the funding of public assistance programs that help needy families.

Not every pro-lifer acts hostile towards children in the same way they act hostile towards individuals who have to enter a Planned Parenthood, yet they also are not as compassionate towards children who rely on public services and are often the same individuals who are rallying for public service budget cuts. It seems a lot of pro-life individuals pick and choose what children they support, and unfortunately, with a stance such as pro-life, you cannot do that.

Abortions are not for everyone, and you are never forced to ever get one, but the option is still easily obtainable if you were to ever need one. Pro-choice is about the individual and their reproductive needs. Pro-choice never has been about murder. Some people are pro-choice but will never get an abortion due to religious beliefs, or because they just will not get one, yet they do not shame those who do get abortions, as it is not their place. It is not their body, so it is not their choice, and that is the beauty of pro-choice laws and legislation.

Getting an abortion is often a very tough decision to make, and abortions are not always free. Many individuals who get abortions do it because they need to, whether it is due to financial reasons, school/career reasons, family reasons, or traumatic reasons, not because they want to be murderers.

Pro-lifers often have a privilege that they will never or have never experienced the hardships that come with being forced to have an unplanned child. Although some of the people spearheading these anti-abortion laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio are women, many of them are upper class cisgender men who do not have to make a choice of carrying a baby or not.

Pro-lifers cannot pick and choose the lives they speak out for. They need to either advocate for helping every life, including children in high risk conditions, or they need to call themselves something else.